P1- Theory of continental drift

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  • P1: The Earth in The Universe- Continental Drift
    • What is the theory of continental drift?
      • All the continents were once all the same landmass- a super continent
      • Thought of by Wegener
      • the 'super continent' then broke in to pieces which drifted away from each other over time
        • these pieces of land form the continents we now know today
    • What evidence is there for this theory?
      • We can measure the movement of the continents- they move by a few cm each year
      • The continents seem to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle
        • Erosion has changed the shape of continent's coastlines, so they don't quite fit together
      • Similar rocks and fossils have been found on either side of the Atlantic ocean- suggesting that South America and western Africa were once connected
    • Why was this theory not accepted at first?
      • At the time that Wegener proposed his theory, the movement of continents could not be measured/detected
      • Wegener was not a geologist- he specialised in the science of weather
      • Geologists at the time had simpler theories to explain the evidence that supported Wegener's theory


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